“Yo, dude,” someone said to DJ Jazzy Jeff, gesturin…

“Yo, dude,” someone said to DJ Jazzy Jeff, gesturing toward the television. “You’re a character in the game.” The DJ born Jeffrey Allen Townes was hanging out with friends when a group had fired up a game of NBA Jam and entered his code. In the 90s, Townes and Will Smith were hip-hop musicians as well as stars of a popular sitcom, plus they worked with the NBA on its “Stay in School” campaign, so they made an excellent fit for the game. It’s likely that Smith played as himself in NBA Jam, according to Townes, though he typically didn’t have the patience for video games.

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Little information is available on Acclaim’s licensing and compensation for use of the special guests. The fine print on one of the game’s boxes showed a copyright notice for George Clinton’s “P-Funk” nickname, but Clinton did not recall ever receiving any payment or signing any agreement for his likeness. The same went for Townes. While Clinton thought his inclusion as a secret character was cool, he associated it with a time when he routinely went unpaid for use of his likeness and music. His career, he said, had been plagued by stories of reneged contracts and missing royalties. “NBA Jam,” he said, “is just one of 1,300 of them.”
Four billion quarters. The was how much money NBA Jam's coin-operated arcade machines gobbled up in the game's first year of existence in 1993. It was a remarkable feat then as the game grossed more than $1 billion in sales that first year, doubling up earnings of popular movies of the same year like "Jurassic Park" and "The Fugitive." It's a number that Mark Turmell, the game's co-creator and project lead for Midway Games back then, still has trouble wrapping his head around. “It was kind of a magical time back then,” he said. “It doesn't seem that long ago. But then I relive the the history and lore of NBA Jam. “It takes me back.”
Shaquille O'Neal was known to have his own personal machine loaded on to the Orlando Magic team plane. Then he would have the arcade machine set up in his hotel room where he and teammates would play through all hours of the night. "Penny Hardaway was good," Shaq said in an interview with Sports Illustrated. "I used to play as Chris Mullin or Reggie Miller all day." The NBA is known for being the fun league of the major sports. Stars like Westbrook and George drive the league's popularity around the globe. "NBA Jam" was re-made with newer players — including the Thunder and Westbrook — in 2010 by EA Sports.
On Saturday, the LA Clippers will celebrate the 25th anniversary year of the video game classic when they host the Sacramento Kings for NBA JAM Day. Fans will be eligible to receive an NBA Jam t-shirt with Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, and someone could even win an original four-player arcade machine of NBA Jam. Tim Kitzrow, the original voice of the game, will be heard throughout the Kings-Clippers contest -- during pregame introductions and timeouts, perhaps even voicing over Griffin's memorable dunk over Jazz center Rudy Gobert in October.
They ended up with four meters for player attributes: Speed, 3-pointers, dunks, and defense. They added clutch in the Tournament Edition game, which Turmell said was a much better game. (Chris Webber had a "zero" in clutch in the arcade version of Tournament Edition.) Turmell, who was a big Detroit Pistons fan -- and, thus, hated the Chicago Bulls -- famously even tried to rig late-game situations that involved the Bulls and Pistons. If the Bulls were in a close game with the Pistons and took a last-second shot, there was a special code in the game that would cause those shots to be bricks more often than normal. "Nah, I didn't know anything about that," Scottie Pippen said. "But I'm sure it was, they were beating us back in those days. But we were the better team, and the better players. But I'm sure they had a code in us somehow to kind of, keep us down.
Electronic Arts (EA) Sports re-booted the franchise in 2010 and still has the rights, but Kitzrow is working with Microsoft to possibly get the game resurrected for the 25th anniversary. "I can't speak anything to the specifics, but I can tell you there is movement in the works to get it done for the 25th year," Kitzrow said. "So I'm hoping that we get a remake that does justice to the original."
First off, that's just a great Gary Payton story. But more importantly: There's a version of NBA Jam with MJ in it! That's significant because, as the feature notes, Jordan opted out of the NBAPA's licensing agreement, so he wasn't included in the legendary game. The vital question here is: Can I play it? Turmell actually answered that question earlier this year in a Reddit AMA (hat tip to Polygon for finding it). When asked if he could dump that version on the Interwebs, he replied, "I could! Will try to dig up." Polygon followed up with Turmell, who had this to say: "I was referring to EPROMs." he said. "I have a cabinet stored away with sets of them.
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April 18, 2021 | 3:21 am EDT Update

Freddie Gillespie to get second 10-day deal with Raptors

Blake Murphy: Freddie Gillespie will sign a second 10-day contract with the Raptors tomorrow, per a source. No surprise. He played a lot by 10-day standards, impressed, and had Nick Nurse publicly vouch. Would think a partial guarantee through 2021-22 comes Apr 28, barring the unforeseen.
This rumor is part of a storyline: 5 more rumors
“I wouldn’t say (my passion has been) taken away, that’s probably a little bit too strong,” VanVleet said on Saturday. “But there’s certainly ups and downs to this thing more than I’ve ever experienced in my life. To be honest, this is probably the most unpure year of basketball I’ve ever been a part of, just from the whole league and rushing the season back. “It’s pretty much all about business this year on every level and it’s hard to hide it, you know what I’m saying? The NBA is a great balance of like the pure love and joy of one of the best sports in the world mixed with a billion-dollar industry, and I think this year the industry side has taken precedence over some of the love and the joy.”
“I can sit up here and complain about the NBA all I want to, but I’m a part of it, you know what I’m saying?” VanVleet said. “I’m directly profiting off of it. We did vote on what season we wanted. “But I can point out that this is what it is, and (these are the) the pros and cons that come with that. It’s very conflicting but not so much (because) of my craft, because I just go out there and that’s the way I play and that’s the way I approach every day. I’m (going to) take whatever consequences come with that because this is what I signed up for. But there’s certainly a lot of information that plays a role in all of these things that we’re seeing with our eyes. It’s not as simple as it looks all the time.”
After Celtics star Jayson Tatum scored 44 points to lead his team to a 119-114 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Saturday, overcoming a spectacular 47-point performance from Stephen Curry in the process, Tatum said it was a thrill for him to go toe-to-toe with the future Hall of Famer and come out on top. “Just mutual respect,” Tatum said, when asked about the conversation the two had on the court inside TD Garden afterward. “Obviously two big performances. I was glad that we got the win, but obviously he’s one of the all-time greats. “Just to earn his respect and get a win on the same night … it was a good night.”
Golden State Warriors star guard Stephen Curry scored 47 points on Saturday night, becoming the first player since Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant to score at least 30 or more points in 10 straight games at age 33 or older. Curry, in his 12th NBA season, acknowledged that this is one of the best stretches he’s ever been on during his storied career.
“Statistically, it is for sure,” Curry said after the 119-114 loss to the Boston Celtics. “This season’s required something a little bit different. I’m trying to meet that moment. It’s a fun brand of basketball, just trying to put wins together with it. And I have supreme confidence; I’ve been blessed with a very special skillset that I’m trying to continue to master and hone and get better at. And that’s showing, the work is showing, so I’m trying to obviously sustain that for this season because it’s required for us to get to where we want to go.”
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